Zesh Rehman Foundation, with support from KC Southern FC have launched a series of events to promote community cohesion and refugee integration through football in Hong Kong. With Zesh playing for the club in the Hong Kong Premier League this initiative uses the club facilities and Zesh’s own coaching talents and profile to engage and support both minority groups resident in Hong Kong and recent Refugee arrivals through coaching, personal development and social action within the community.
Tournaments, events and engagement with Zesh through question and answer and mentoring sessions are delivered to build relationships between communities, build a greater understanding of cultural differences and use football as a common ground for discussion and recreation. Volunteers within the community are also trained to deliver their coaching and leadership skills.
The programme also offers community groups the chance to attend KC Southern games and training facilities, ensure the club is embedded as a driver of community development within its local area – with flags from many nations now visible at its matches.
Our ‘Sidelined-2-Sidelines’ is a bespoke coach education & mentoring programme for 16-25 year olds specifically designed to increase the number of British Asian coaches who could act as role models and help develop provisions in predominantly Asian communities. The programme, previously funded by the Professional Footballers’ Association & the Premier League, aims to increase the number of young people from minority communities accessing high quality football coaching, inspire others to get involved as volunteer coaches at the grass roots level and provide pathways into the professional game.
Based on a high quality training provision, Sidelined-2-Sidelines is not only about providing jobs to young coaches, but also upskilling them as youth workers able to engage effectively with disadvantaged young people living in marginalised communities.
The ‘Get Up, Get Moving’ programme is a six-week cross-curricular education programme of lectures designed to increase awareness of physical activity, healthy eating and consequences of inactivity and poor lifestyles such as obesity and associated diseases. The programme, aimed at Primary School children, has been developed specifically for the ZRF by educational and health professionals including Doctor Zafar Iqbal who lectures in Sports and Exercise Medicine and who was previous the first team doctor at Liverpool Football Club and currently Head of Medical at Crystal Palace Football Club.
The programme involves six one-hour lectures – which is how much physical activity children should be doing per day. School teaching staff are armed with all the relevant materials to deliver the programme and supported with a workshop delivered by medical professionals who work within the football and sports industry. By delivering the key messages through individuals linked with professional football clubs and inspirational role models, it is hoped that children will take more interest, enhance their knowledge and increase their activity levels to develop healthier communities.
Our ‘Play the Game’ sessions are delivered in partnership with club Community Trusts and Foundations with the aim of encouraging participation in sport and educational qualifications amongst minoritized communities. Sessions are delivered by coaches who have experience in grassroots sports, youth development and community engagement. Young people are provided with on-going mentoring and supported in becoming future leaders of the sessions whereby they can build on the foundations and become self-sufficient. Sessions are also aligned closely with local authorities, Football Associations and Charter Standard Clubs to provide pathways into mainstream football and sport.